Kerala’s Fort Kochi Neighborhood Guide

  • The shop is in an old Dutch bungalow.

    The shop is in an old Dutch bungalow.

  • Divine wine lounge is found in Malabar House.

    Divine wine lounge is found in Malabar House.

  • Breakfast at Kashi.

    Breakfast at Kashi.

  • The lush courtyard of Malabar House.

    The lush courtyard of Malabar House.

  • Rising Delhi painter Trishla Jain's line for Fabindia.

    Rising Delhi painter Trishla Jain's line for Fabindia.

  • Owners Radhika and Abishek Poddar source modern Indian products for their boutique.

    Owners Radhika and Abishek Poddar source modern Indian products for their boutique.

  • Degustation menu.

    Degustation menu.

  • A quiet Kochi street. Photo by Aleksandr Sykov

    A quiet Kochi street. Photo by Aleksandr Sykov

  • The iconic Chinese fishing nets at Fort Kochi also double also a seaside dining venue.

    The iconic Chinese fishing nets at Fort Kochi also double also a seaside dining venue.

  • Paradesi Synagogue, the oldest active synagogue in the Commonwealth of Nations.

    Paradesi Synagogue, the oldest active synagogue in the Commonwealth of Nations.

  • Rising Delhi painter Trishla Jain's line for Fabindia.

    Rising Delhi painter Trishla Jain's line for Fabindia.

  • Santa Cruz Basilica shares the city with Chinese traders, a Jewish synagogue, and British Raj-era houses.

    Santa Cruz Basilica shares the city with Chinese traders, a Jewish synagogue, and British Raj-era houses.

  • The colonial stylings of Old Courtyard Hotel. Photo by Thaths

    The colonial stylings of Old Courtyard Hotel. Photo by Thaths

Click image to view full size

Kashi Art Café 

Kashi Art Cafe 1

The courtyard of Kashi adorned with a K. S. Radhakrishnan sculpture.

Breakfast at Kashi.

Breakfast at Kashi.

Fort Kochi has a lively contemporary art scene and draws many bohemian artists thanks to its laidback atmosphere—the acclaimed Kochi-Muziris Biennale, set up by Keralan-born artists Bose Krishnamachari and Riyas Komu in 2012, is one such case in point. Kashi Art Café, a hip but relaxed café-cum-art-gallery, is the beating heart of the contemporary art scene in Fort Kochi, operating as a space for art residencies and pop-up installations from contemporary Indian and expat artists. It also offers the perfect place to relax with an espresso while hiding from the tropical heat. Curator Tanya Abraham selects a diverse mix of contemporary Indian and expat painters and sculptors, which have included celebrated National Award Winner G.R. Iranna’s first solo painting show in South India. With an airy, light-filled ambience dotted with quirky sculptures and art, it’s easy to let the hours slip away here: during the 2012 Biennale (the first art Biennale held in India), it was hard to find a single visitor who didn’t while away their time enjoying the art on display and indulging in a slice or two of the café’s much-loved chocolate cake, which is baked in-house per their special recipe. While other cafes in Kochi oriented for Western tastebuds tend to fall back on prosaic backpacker fare like sandwiches, French fries, and banana pancakes, the café offers an excellent spread of Western breakfasts (its decadent French toast with tropical fruit is particularly popular) and an ever-rotating menu of lunch specials. For those in need of a caffeine fix, Kashi Art Café also offers strong and freshly-ground single origin coffee from the plantations along the Malabar Coast, which is an unusual rarity in Kerala—though the region Coast is renowned for its coffee, locals usually take their coffee weak and export the best beans overseas.

Burgher Street; 91-484/2215769; Kashi Art Gallerymains from US$4

Share this Article